True West: Sam Shepard's Life, Work, and Times (Book Notes)
True West: Sam Shepard's Life, Work, and Times is a biography of the playwright and actor Sam Shepard, written by Robert Greenfield. The book provides an in-depth look at Shepard's life, career, and artistic contributions, from his upbringing in California to his influential work in American theater.
The biography begins with Shepard's early life, growing up in a dysfunctional family in California. Shepard's father was a troubled man who struggled with alcoholism and violence, and his parents' rocky relationship left a lasting impact on him. Despite these challenges, Shepard developed an early love for writing and theater, and his talent eventually led him to New York City.
The book explores Shepard's early career, including his time at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco and his work with the avant-garde theater group The Wooster Group. Shepard's plays, such as Buried Child and True West, were groundbreaking in their portrayal of the American West and the complexities of family dynamics. The book also covers Shepard's career as an actor, including his work in films like The Right Stuff and Paris, Texas.
Greenfield delves into the many relationships in Shepard's life, including his marriages and romantic liaisons. He also discusses Shepard's struggles with substance abuse, and how it affected his work and personal life.
SUMMARY: True West is a comprehensive and engaging look at the life of one of America's most important playwrights. Greenfield's writing is clear and engaging, and he provides a wealth of information about Shepard's life and work. The book will appeal to anyone interested in theater, literature, or the cultural history of the American West.